2nd Corinthians 12:8-10 says: “8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Right now, a young man named Mark is laying in hospital paralyzed from the upper chest on down, and he and his family are struggling to get their mind around all that has happened and what comes next. I wanted to say something to give them some small comfort, something they could tell Mark that might answer his question of “why me?”.
In church today, one of the readings was 2nd Corinthians 12:8-10. And our pastor told us that through our weakness God shows uss his strength. It reminded me of a time when I was a caregiver to a 33 year old fireman who was suffering from brain cancer. His name was John, he was married with two small children, and he was dying. Several times during the nine months that I cared for him, he would ask me “why is this happening to me?” I didn’t have an answer the first few times he asked me, but I felt there must be something I could tell him.
One night when I was at a Stephen Minister meeting, I saw our pastor in the hall, and I stopped him and told him of my dilemma, and this is what he told me. He said Bob, every time you meet with John, how many people are there visiting John? I told him that on any given day there were at least six or more friends, relatives and family visiting. He told me that God was working through John to positively affect all those people who visit him. You see, John had a very strong faith and he was not afraid to talk about it, and every day John would sit there in his weakened state and God used his weakness to display God’s strength.
In displaying his weakness John knew that ultimately God was going to reward him with a place in heaven, but for now he had to be satisfied knowing that he was helping God positively impress upon all those people the love and power of God.
I like to think that Mark is doing the same thing by being week on his own, but mighty with God’s strength. Mark has been very fortunate in life to have so many friends and family that love him, in spite of his weaknesses. I like to think that all his friends and family love Mark unconditionally regardless of any infirmities. To them, Mark is still Mark, only now maybe even more so.
I know that my friend John was successful in his mission just by the way he changed me, and I knew all the others he was affecting as well. Mark has an opportunity to show everyone his faith, every time another person visits or calls or writes. I look forward to hearing more stories about Marks progress, and one day I want to hear about his first steps.
Mike and Sharon, April and Kara, your path is clear, go and share your stories about Mark; and continue to count the number of people Marked has affected.
Go Mark Go!!
God’s peace to you all!